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HD DVD Player Sales Grind To a Halt

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the it-was-that-bunker-video-did-it dept.

Media 507

Lucas123 writes "While the news may fall under the 'Duh' category, it's still relatively shocking how quickly the death knell for HD DVD player sales came on after Warner Bros. announced they were dropping dual hi-def DVD format support in order to back only Blu-ray. According to a Computerworld story, the week after Warner's announcement, sales of HD DVD players dropped to 1,758, down from 14,558 players the week before. In contrast, consumers bought 21,770 Blu-ray Disc players, up from 15,257 the previous week."

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507 comments

"blue ray player" totals (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183270)

Previously, I had heard that the total sales for blue ray players included sales of PS3 consoles. Are they included in these numbers as well? I know that there are certainly people out there who bought PS3's with the intention of playing PS3 games, and didn't really care that they could play blue ray movies as well.

That said, of course the loss of another studio from HD DVD to Blue Ray likely didn't hurt sales of stand-alone blue ray players, either.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (5, Interesting)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183350)

I hear this line a lot. Why does it matter?

If you count the PS3s, then you also increase the denominator when determining the ratio of players to media purchases, the attach rate.

I think the only honest way to report on blu-ray is to include PS3s and accept a lower attach rate (if there is one). Frankly, most blu-ray players are PS3s, and it's simply an obvious selection for those who aren't interested in video games, so excluding it is insane.

I know of several PS3 owners. Some of them only have the free blu-rays. Fair enough. None of them are unaware of the HD disc abilities, but some just don't watch movies. The statistics reflect this reality, so I see no reason to adjust things strangely.

Don't mod me down Bro! Don't mod me down Bro! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183662)


Don't mod me down Bro!

Don't mod me down Bro!

Re:"blue ray player" totals (3, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183834)

If you count the PS3s, then you also increase the denominator when determining the ratio of players to media purchases, the attach rate....

I know of several PS3 owners. Some of them only have the free blu-rays. Fair enough. None of them are unaware of the HD disc abilities, but some just don't watch movies. The statistics reflect this reality, so I see no reason to adjust things strangely.
The war is over so it's moot. But I noticed many people using TOTAL PS3 sales while only using US attach rates/media sales. The US sales ratio were roughly 2:1 BD:HDDVD. The UK sales ratio was roughly 4:1 BD:HDDVD. The Japanese sales ratio was 9:1 BD:HDDVD. I don't know a single PS3 owner who does not also own a BD movie. Not 1.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183988)

I think the only honest way to report on blu-ray is to include PS3s and accept a lower attach rate (if there is one).

I generally agree, but there might be more illuminating ways to break it down. There are PS3's that are sold packaged with movies. An 'attach rate' that counts those but not PS3s sold with game packages might be interesting. Also interesting might be the 'attach rate' counting sales of the PS3 Blu-Ray remote control, which while not required is probably a high-priority item for people who bought the PS3 largely to play media.

But in the end, I'm not sure the immediate attach rate matters much. A lower attach rate means higher opportunity, since I suspect most PS3 owners will buy at least one Blu-Ray movie just to see what all the fuss is about and the existing attach rate is less than 1.0.

And with Sony selling more PS3s per quarter than HD DVD players have ever been built (is that statistic still valid?) the sales of standalone players hardly matters anymore.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (1)

IAmAMacOSXAddict (718470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184012)

I bought my PS3 for the Blue ray player, and the 15 movies that came with it on the sale at Walmart just after Thanksgiving. Or at least that's what I told my wife we were buying it for. Now that I have her into Guitar Hero I can barely get on it...

Re:"blue ray player" totals (3, Interesting)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183356)

From what I've read (granted, it's on forums and such) Toshiba and Sony both spin the PS3 different ways. Toshiba was including it in sales when talking about attach rates, but when talking about sheer numbers of HD-DVD players compared to Blu-ray players, the PS3 wasn't included.

I'm sure there are links out there to some blog, but who knows if those are any more reputable.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (4, Interesting)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183478)

Anyone know if the blu-ray folks were similarly inconsistent? Excluding the PS3 when discussing attach rate? Seems unlikely to me.

The HD-DVD campaign failed as soon as it became evident the PS3 was not going to flop, at least that's my view of the situation. When the PS3 looked doomed and 600$, it wasn't hard to believe that the HD0DVD camp would prevail.

But how do you compete with the PS3? It's not that expensive next to a great TV and movie collection, and it does all that media stuff + is a future proof blu-ray player. Almost unfair. I wonder why the 360 didn't come out with built in HD-DVD? I beleive it HD-DVD would have dominated had that been the case.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (3, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183650)

I wonder why the 360 didn't come out with built in HD-DVD? I beleive it HD-DVD would have dominated had that been the case.
Because the X-Box division wanted immediate sales figures. They were sure that being the "first next-gen" console to market would give them such an advantage that they decided to forgo the HD-DVD which would have set back shipping schedules and increased the price of the console. It's essentially the reverse of the decision that cost Sony so many sales during the Christmas season. Sony, as is their way, opted to use their shiny new piece of electronics to foist their proprietary format on the masses, where as MS decided it rather have higher short-term sales figures.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183878)

Yes but marketshare in consoles goes Wii > 360 > PS3 so MS did something right after all.

The interesting part will be how much sony charges MS to license BD for the 360.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183942)

Sony, as is their way, opted to use their shiny new piece of electronics to foist their proprietary format on the masses, where as MS decided it rather have higher short-term sales figures.
There is more then Sony behind Blu-ray. It's like saying 3'5" is proprietary or CD or DVD. It's just a silly statement.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (2, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183990)

There is more then Sony behind Blu-ray. It's like saying 3'5" is proprietary or CD or DVD. It's just a silly statement.
Blu-ray is a proprietary format, it's just the rights to it are owned by a consortium instead of one corporation. No matter how you slice it if you want to put out blu-ray hardware you're going to be paying a licensing fee which Sony gets a cut of.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183520)

The PS3 is also marketed as a media station and should be included in Blu-ray sales, IMHO. It's appearance is better suited in your home theater rack than other consoles and it not too loud plus it doesn't need a bulky power brick lying around your equipment.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (2, Interesting)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183716)

Last month I bought a PS3 primarily to run Linux and to watch blu-ray movies. I currently have no plans to buy any games for it preferring to play games on my PSP instead. I like the PS3 as an excellent blu-ray player that is future proof due to its software upgradability.

Re:"blue ray player" totals (4, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183552)

PS3 has been more than doubling that number [vgchartz.com]

So no, it does not include the PS3.

What I find most interesting though is the loss of about 7k sales overall. That would be the cost of a more expensive format.

I personally am happy blue ray wins (I want 50GB burnable disks, not 30GB). But I would have been pretty satisfied to see Sony lose to just because I like to see big companies fail when pushing things to hard (I guess Toshiba pushed pretty hard too, but they keep to quite for it to be as enjoyable).

Re:"blue ray player" totals (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183772)

Besides, Sony is the undisputed king of pushing new proprietary formats. Name one major piece of Sony electronics released in the last 5 years that hasn't had at least one port that takes a proprietary Sony storage format. Remember when they were pushing those god awful gumstick flash things? You couldn't find a single piece of Sony kit that didn't have a port for them, although if you were lucky it also had ports for other sane formats.

No, these numbers do not include the PS3 (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183588)

These numbers are for dedicated Blu-Ray players only. If you think about this this is obvious from the numbers themselves, where the PS3 even in the worst weeks last year had 80k weekly sales (and it's doing better now).

Re:"blue ray player" totals (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183668)

Previously, I had heard that the total sales for blue ray players included sales of PS3 consoles. Are they included in these numbers as well? know that there are certainly people out there who bought PS3's with the intention of playing PS3 games, and didn't really care that they could play blue ray movies as well.
I don't' think they usually include PS3. NPD doesn't. That is why HD DVD pundits usually stated it was a close race because US sales of stand alone HD DVD machines was close to stand alone blu-ray players. If you included PS3's it would look ridiculous. 4 BD :1 HD DVD including PS3's and 360 Attachments in the US versus 1:1 stand alones.

Incidentally the US BD : HD DVD dales ratio was 2:1 or there abouts for most of last year. The Ps3 didn't do that well in the States last year. In Japan where the PS3 did much better, the ratio was 9 BD: 1 HD DVD. The effect of the PS3 had been downplayed by HD DVD pundits but it wasn't ever close. It was only Close in the US. Even the UK had a 4 BD :1 HD DVD ration. People who buy it for games will almost always buy a movie or two. Most attach rate arguments were flawed because it used total PS3 sales but only US attach rate or media sales information.

one week (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183286)

And as the article points out, the information from that week is useful to gauge sales for that one week only. Since Toshiba responded the following week with massive price cuts, the sales figures will be drastically different for the following weeks. Basically, these numbers will be all over the map for a while, and won't be useful for generating any sort of trend. That said, it is clear that HD DVD will be going away soon.

Re:one week (4, Insightful)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183386)

Good point. If I was going to buy HD-DVD, I might wait fo rthe obvious price drops that are sure to come as HD-DVD liquidates away.

But the overall point, that this format war is over, stands. Toshiba has to get what they can, and will have sales and such, but it's over.

Poor Bastards (4, Insightful)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183290)

And that's why the rest of us wait for format wars to end.

Re:Poor Bastards (1)

Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183332)

You are correct sir. I have no idea how people got suckered into buying one of the two formats with no clear cut winner. Enjoy your doorstop.

Re:Poor Bastards (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183496)

Okay. Enjoy yourselves.

I'm quite happy with my HD player. I'll buy a Blu-ray player as well when they're region free and their price falls to a similar amount. For now, I can enjoy some HD movies. I will continue to enjoy them for the lifetime of my player.

Do you think discs stop working when a format is no longer supported?

Re:Poor Bastards (5, Insightful)

richardellisjr (584919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183646)

No the disc don't stop working, but when your HD DVD player does in 5 years they may as well not work.

Re:Poor Bastards (3, Insightful)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183536)

doorstop.
aka, $150 upconverting DVD player. slightly overpriced, but considering it comes with 9* free HD movies, i'm happy. and yes, i bought it this week knowing full well HDDVD is probably going to lose.

* 2 you pick from the shelf, 2 in the box, 5 you choose from a small list and mail away for

Re:Poor Bastards (5, Funny)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183528)

And that's why the rest of us wait for format wars to end.
Exactly.

I simply sit in the trench and wait until the cacohpany of cash registers and emptying bank accounts comes to a halt. I then peer out from my fox-hole and look to see the vast wasteland around me: HD-DVD players being thrown out by the dozens, consumers with smoking holes in their wallets, and the wreckage of packing waste and store displays strewn about as if by some hurricane.

Somewhere, distant as if on the wind, I can hear the quiet sobbing of some videophile, lamenting the death of his preferred format.

Format war is hell.

Favorite Civil War Quote (4, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183892)

It is well that war is so terrible - otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
--Robert E. Lee

Alternate approach (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183534)

And that's why the rest of us wait for format wars to end.

Alternately, you can simply pick the side that is obviously going to win. Warner was just a side effect of forces already in motion before the first player was sold. Just like the sun coming up in the morning doesn't appear from nothing, there are physics of consumer sales and Blu-Ray always had the momentum from hardware and media to win eventually. It was just a question of when, but it was safe enough to pick as a format.

Re:Poor Bastards (3, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183666)

And that's why the rest of us wait for format wars to end.

Format wars? Is that a movie? How does it end, I haven't seen many new movies lately. I wait for them to come out on my Betamax machine.

Re:Poor Bastards (1)

yo_tuco (795102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183856)

"And that's why the rest of us wait for format wars to end."

I don't think you have to wait any longer. Come June, ~70% of movies will be released BD for a HD format and price reductions on 4th gen BD players are expected. And for the remaining movies that won't be available on BD, the upscaling capabilities of an HD player make for watching DVD fine too.

Re:Poor Bastards (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184044)

I don't think you have to wait any longer. Come June

Uhh, I don't know what timezone you're in, but here on Planet Earth, June is five MONTHS away. I'm not sure what definition of "don't ... have to wait any longer" you're going by, but hey, more power to you.

Pretty much describes me... (3, Interesting)

AdamTrace (255409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183334)

I, like I'm sure many other average-joe consumers, have been just WAITING for the decision to be made before going out and spending hard earned cash on a high-def player.

Warner Brothers moving to BluRay, along with rumors of Universal and Paramount possibly following suit, have really been a good sign.

I bought PS3 (and Rock Band!) pretty quickly after the news came out.

It only 'altered' my decision (-1)

They_Call_Me_Spanky (83478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183338)

I won't pay > $200 for HD DVD if it looks like it might not win the format wars, but I'd gladly pay that if I had confidence it come out on top.

On the other hand, If I could get a player for $79, knowing that HD DVD was going to lose and but disks are still available via NetFlix et. al. for the near future, I would do so.

It's all about the price for me.

What will Microsoft do with the Xbox? (0, Troll)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183340)

Being a long-time PlayStation fan, I bought a PS3 this year, and have been very satisfied with it. So now that the format wars are over, what will Microsoft do with their ill-faded Xbox 360 HD DVD player?

My fried bought the accessory (which, of corse, costs extra) when it first came out, despite me telling him it's a risk. But he bought it. So what happens to all the people who bought the Xbox 360 with dreams of watching HD movies?

I think it's funny. Microsoft, using their stupid buisness model, created the Xbox 360 "Elite" to give people this stuff, the Microsoft way (adding yet another version to the long growing versions of Microsoft products). So now is the HD DVD player for Xbox 360 a paperweight? Is this a victory for the PS3?

Re:What will Microsoft do with the Xbox? (1)

Miniluv (165290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183444)

Its only a paperweight if you're stupid enough to destroy all the media you've bought to go with it.

I have a 360 HD-DVD drive and a dozen or so movies that are currently only available on HD-DVD which I routinely watch on it. If Blu-Ray wins, which appears pretty likely, I'll probably pickup a dual format player though I have the option of a cheaper Blu-Ray only player and until I feel the need to replace my HD-DVD media with Blu-Ray media I have a fully functional HD media player.

MS has said from the start that the 360 can switch (5, Interesting)

tacroy (813477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183526)

One of the rationals of doing an external player was so that they could just make a blu-ray addon if HD-DVD didn't win. The main difference is that blu-ray and the PS3 are intimately intertwined. However, the 360 is just a video game machine that you can buy an add-on movie player too. Very few people (that I know of) bought the 360 as a movie player, compared at least, to the apparent many that bought the PS3 for its movie ability. So for all intent the HD-DVD addon, will suffer the same fate as a standalone player, and have little affect on the 360.

Re:What will Microsoft do with the Xbox? (2, Interesting)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183546)

Well for one, the fact that I had the option to upgrade to the HD DVD player makes the 360 10 times better to me than Sony trying to force their format down our throats....which is why I refuse to buy a PS3. And yes I did buy the HD DVD player add on because I wanted HD DVD to win. So what will we do now? Well Microsoft has already mentioned making a Blu-Ray add-on so I will continue buying all the really cheap HD DVD's then buy the Blu Ray add-on at some point in the future.....problem solved. When it comes down to it was all about my ability to chose what I wanted to do.

Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183344)

During the week following Warner's announcement -- a period in which the HD-DVD group went into hiding while they regrouped -- FUD went absolutely rampant. Eclipsing the damage of Warner's announcement were rumors from so-called insiders that Paramount and Universal were also jumping ship, along with the standard claims that the adult industry was going blu. If you do a news search on HD-DVD right now you'll continue to find the same FUD, blown into a life of its own by blogger referencing blogger referencing blogger, repeating the same disproven claim.

In this vacuum of information, there's no surprise that HD-DVD sales collapsed, and it isn't because of the loss of Warner's catalog.

Since then the outcome is much less certain, however. Toshiba hasn't just conceded (and they shouldn't -- just prior to Warner's announcement it was 50/50), but instead they've come out swinging, dropping the price of their units by half (obviously it has to be cheap to compete with a format that largely was acquired for "free" as an added value of a game system). This price puts a very capable HD-DVD player with ethernet, HDMI, optical audio, and so on, as cost competitive with a decent upscaling DVD player -- and the Toshiba unit is a very good upscaling player. Add the 7 or more free HD-DVD movies that'll work forever even if HD-DVD dies, and a catalog of 1000 or so HD-DVD movies already on the market, it's a hell of a deal. If someone could hack this baby to be a media head unit it would absolutely own [yafla.com].

Reports are that sales have been absolutely massive, and Toshiba's campaign has been a success. Warner since has extended their HD-DVD support by almost a month, and other very positive rumors have circulated about HD-DVD.

Don't write HD-DVD off quite yet.

As an aside, one thing that really pisses me off about this war are claims that the end of the format war would be good for consumers. This is as logical as saying that Windows and IE should be universal -- good for consumers. Worse, Blu-ray has so many consumer-unfriendly facets (cost, no combo discs, a standard that's still in flux, early adopters getting screwed, the nebulous DRM of BD+) that it winning can never be perceived as a consumer win. Yeah, I'm biased because I didn't choose a format to win based upon a game unit I happened to buy.

In this vacuum of intelligence (2, Insightful)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183468)

In this vacuum of information, there's no surprise that HD-DVD sales collapsed

In this vacuum of intelligence, you state that there's still hope for HD-DVD. There's no chance it's coming back, not when HD-DVD has 30% of the market, and publishers care more about cost of production than satisfying the needs of a very small portion of people who own HD-DVD players.

Re:In this vacuum of intelligence (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183540)

In this vacuum of intelligence, you state that there's still hope for HD-DVD. There's no chance it's coming back, not when HD-DVD has 30% of the market, and publishers care more about cost of production than satisfying the needs of a very small portion of people who own HD-DVD players.

No, HD-DVD's marketshare is more like 1% of the market. For that matter Blu-ray's marketshare is about 1% of the market. Which, I think, is the whole point: Casting this out as if it's the overall market is just ridiculous.

Not to mention that the PS3's marketshare of consoles is what...10%? Yeah, why would anyone bother supporting that -- it would be good for consumers and publishers if everyone just sucked it up and conceded that the Wii has won.

And it's pretty unfortunate for consumers that the war has played out not on merits, but on which studio got paid off to go to which camp (an activity that both sides have engaged in).

Re:In this vacuum of intelligence (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183890)

By your logic there would be no software for the Mac and Apple would have long died. Producing an HD-DVD once you've got your Blu-ray already made does not significantly increase the cost of production. It would be easy to see a return on your investment with 30% of the market wanting your product in HD-DVD format.

Maybe hackable... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183548)

Depends how much work you're willing to do, but it might be possible to do the stuff you're describing as "hacks" without cracking it at all, especially if they start doing additional persistent storage.

The trick is, you would need an AACS-encrypted disc with any of the code you'd be doing this with.

Question is, how does this compare to, say, a PS3 with Linux?

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183658)

As an aside, one thing that really pisses me off about this war are claims that the end of the format war would be good for consumers. This is as logical as saying that Windows and IE should be universal -- good for consumers.

That's not even remotely the same thing. We're talking about formats here - interoperability is the important thing here. The analogous situation wouldn't be a universal Internet Explorer, it would be a universal HTML format. The competition between web browsers is reflected by the competition between player manufacturers.

Do you think the world would be better off with a version of HTML that only works in Internet Explorer and a version of HTML that only works in Firefox? Because that's the type of situation here.

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183820)

We're talking about formats here - interoperability is the important thing here.

It's a loose analogy about competition. Competition is almost always a good thing, especially when the contest -- despite all of the rhetoric in the industry saying otherwise -- is really Toshiba versus Sony (sure, there are some other manufacturers for each, but to take Blu-ray for an example, one really was a chump if they bought a Samsung Blu-ray player, because it turns out that the only BR player that is credibly future proofed to adopt to the changing standard is the Playstation 3).

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183898)

All this shows was that people didn't care who won, they were just waiting until whatever tipping point to jump onto a bandwagon. Doesn't matter if the format's not dead yet, consumers just want to know what to buy NOW to be future-proof. Once this idea gets in their heads, the landslide then begins.

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183904)

NPD: Sky Isn't Falling for HD-DVD, Blu-ray Isn't Champ Yet
01/24/08
http://www.dailygame.net/news/archives/007137.php [dailygame.net]

Sales data for HD-DVD and Blu-ray players and movies has been misconstrued lately by various outlets, with reports implying that HD-DVD sales have fallen at an amazing pace while Blu-ray sales have blasted through the roof.

Not so fast, says the NPD Group.

While select articles have implied that HD-DVD as a format is doomed and the sky is falling for the format's supporters, the NPD Group this afternoon reinforced that sales results from a single week do not necessarily indicate a trend, and that the week in question had several intriguing variables that have gone unreported.

The NPD Group attempted to quiet the storm of online scuttlebutt with the following statement:

"As you may have seen, there are attempts being made to portray NPD's weekly sales tracking figures for next generation DVD as a trend. We want to remind you and make clear that it is not accurate to make long term assumptions based on one week of sales -- a cautionary point that NPD has made as well.

"The facts are that during the week that is being singled out, both Blu-ray disc players and software were being given away for free with the purchase of 1080p TVs. It is also important to note that the instant rebate promotions that had previously netted Toshiba's players' MSRPs to $199 and $249 had actually ended on Jan. 5th -- causing an increase in HD DVD's MSRP back to $299 and $399 during that same week. Since Toshiba's retail price move on Jan. 13th to $149 / $199 -- Toshiba is seeing very positive sales trends at retail. This reinforces the fact that price is a significant driver of sales.

"Toshiba's HD DVD players represent a significant value to the consumer and the marketing campaign that just began is proving effective."

Two weeks start to make a trend. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184046)

The NPD numbers for the week after Warner, were 85:15.

The NPD sales figures for last week (13th-19th), in which the players had been reduced in price, were 83:17 (for blu ray). You don't have to be a statistician to see that player sales are making a negligible impact. Remember the players are also simply upscaling DVD players, which many people buy them for - or as had been found, people realizing the format is up are buying more plaers so they have extras for when the player they have dies.

And if you look ahead to the HD-DVD release schedule for the year compared to Blu-Ray, it's pretty easy to see where things will wind up.

The link you posted is simply more astroturfing to try and mislead consumers, notably posted the day before NPD numbers came out today) so they could claim ignorance of continuing faltered sales for HD-DVD.

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183910)

Add the 7 or more free HD-DVD movies that'll work forever even if HD-DVD dies...

Until your player stops working in a few years, as all electronics eventually do. And then you won't be able to get a replacement HD-DVD player.

...and a catalog of 1000 or so HD-DVD movies already on the market...

There are 378 HD-DVD movies on the market [engadgethd.com].

Give it up, your format is dead. (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183946)

During the week following Warner's announcement -- a period in which the HD-DVD group went into hiding while they regrouped -- FUD went absolutely rampant.

The thing is about FUD (Fear, Uncertanty, Doubt) is that it can be caused by true things as well as false.

Face it, Paramount and Universal going at least neutral if not exclusive is now 100% certain. A format designed explicitly for movie playing, cannot survive when it has only 20% of titles ad not even very many good titles at that (look at the HD-DVD upcoming releases compared to Blu-Ray!). It cannot survive when media sales have fallen to the extent they have. It cannot survive when major retailors are phasing it out (take a look at the HD-DVD section in your local Best Buy and notice how many titles are flat facing outward instead of on-end...)

Reports are that sales have been absolutely massive,

Player sales - not media sales. Remember the point of this format war is not to sell players below cost, but to sell media. What were the numbers for the previous weeks sales? 83:17, for Blu-Ray. The week before that? 85:15, Blu-Ray (NPD figures). The last weeks figures include the time period of Toshiba's "massive" player sales.

People buying HD-DVD players at this point are looking for an upconverting DVD player on the cheap - nothing more. And remember that even with massive player sales from Toshiba, Blu-Ray players are still outselling hem by a huge margin if you factor in the PS3 (and realistically you must factor in the PS3 for player sales somehow).

As an aside, one thing that really pisses me off about this war are claims that the end of the format war would be good for consumers. This is as logical as saying that Windows and IE should be universal -- good for consumers.

You know what pisses me off? People thinking the format war, which kept consumers from BOTH formats. was in any way healthy. Remember that on the Blu-Ray side you have a whole ecosystem - many companies making players, many companies making media. Competition keeps prices down and quality up. But if no consumers buy into a format your supposed "competition doesn't matter because it's like having tow competing saloons in a ghost town. Would the world be a better place if we had multiple competing HTML formats, and you had to pay $300 for a browser that supported both?

I'm very sorry your format lost. But the sooner all HD-DVD supporters face this the better off the HD media industry will be as a whole. Isn't that what it's really all about, the movies? If you care at all about having HD media on a physical format prosper, you'll throw your full backing behind Blu-Ray and help to convince people it's worth while switching from DVD. It's pretty easy to do if you have a half decent setup, even 720p is so much more obviously better than upscaled content that it doesn't take much of a demonstration.

I think a major uptick for HD media will be the elimination of analog broadcast next year - people will get fed up with converter boxes and just get newer TV's (especially since you get HD programming for free). At that point HD media sales can also really take off. So it's important to have a good solid format at that point that's easy for consumers to choose.

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183996)

This is as logical as saying that Windows and IE should be universal -- good for consumers
That's a specious comparison. Of course having no competition in the PC market would be bad for consumers - because the cost of the device is all that really matters. The existence of the Internet marginalizes the need to every computer to be completely compatible. If 50% of the computer market owned Macs, and the other 50% owned Wintel, it's not as if half the computer users could not share files/networks/workflows with the other half.

But if the same scenario were true for media/movie discs, that would suck. If I bought a new HD DVD disc and wanted to take it to a friends house to watch it, then they would *have* to own an specific type of hardware. Of course, they could start mass producing dual-format players. That would make both of our points somewhat moot.

Re:Don't Count HD-DVD Out Yet (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184036)

Since then the outcome is much less certain, however.
TFA says your are wrong. The outcome is nwo certain. Toshiba's efforts were in vain.

Don't write HD-DVD off quite yet.
The time to write off HD DVD was when the media sales data came for last year and it was as follows:

US
2 BD : 1 HDDVD

Japan:

9 BD : 1 HDDVD

UK:

4 BD : 1 HDDVD

That was a sign the war was decided and events around the CES sealed the deal. As someone else said, It's now more nails then coffin.

Odd numbers (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183366)

So, HD DVD lost 13,000 sales and Bluray only gained half that? I think maybe there's something else going on as well other than just the Warner deal.

Think of where you would go - the sales are there (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183664)

PS3 sales also spiked pretty well. Remember, if you are suddenly looking for a Blu-Ray player. the PS3 is a very appealing choice - even if all you use it for is Blu-Ray, with the remote it's good as any other dedicated player (and better really since it's future proof and so easy to connect to a network connection wirelessly).

Re:Odd numbers (2, Insightful)

zaffir (546764) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183784)

No, not really. Some buyers were committed to buying an HD format and the Warner news caused them to change their mind. Others saw it as a sign of uncertainty and decided to hold off.

Re:Odd numbers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183828)

Keep in mind, it's generally agreed that the PS3 is the de-facto best blu-ray player (and shifting standards mean it's arguably the only one you should even consider buying, as it's able to evolve with the format), yet it's not included in these sales numbers as it's not a dedicated player. Hard to tell how many people picking up a PS3 are doing it because they want a blu-ray player and will only ever buy a couple games.

DVDs Still Work Just Fine (5, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183398)

I'm no crotchety old man pining away for the the good old days, but it seems to me that DVDs are still working just fine. The format wars are a sometimes interesting diversion, but until HD TVs are the norm and DVDs leave the market altogether, the format war is largely meaningless to most. My SD TV works just fine and until it stops working and/or HD comes down in price another $500USD or so, Blu-ray vs HD-DVD is a nonissue for many if not most. Oh, and that says nothing about digital delivery making physical disks totally irrelevant.

Re:DVDs Still Work Just Fine (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183686)

VHS tapes still work fine.

Re:DVDs Still Work Just Fine (2)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183980)

I will challenge you to produce an HD-DVD or Blueray disc that is a dramatic improvement over an upscaling DVD player on a 42" TV. Unless you have a 60" or bigger TV you will simply not notice an improvement. That is what the parent was getting at by saying DVDs are still the media of choice and will continue to be for the near future. There is a marked improvement from VHS to DVD, not such an improvement from DVD to HD. Then of course you have the added pain of the crappily conceived HDMI connector and encryption causing problems on every player.

Re:DVDs Still Work Just Fine (1)

slackoon (997078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183698)

Just a thought, you should walk into....well any store that sells TV's really, and look around. 90% of the units in the store are HD. They have dropped in price hugely and continue to do so, the TV that I bought for $850 was $800 only 3 months later and some of the boxing day sales for HD TV's were too good to be true. HD TV's are here!

Re:DVDs Still Work Just Fine (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183806)

True.

Think though what will happen when one format truly wins.

The price of the player should keep dropping, to the point that people will start buying players, even though they only use DVDs (heck they might be the only type of player on the market? or perhaps only the cheapest of the cheap optical players will be DVD only?).

Then once they upgrade their TVs, they are already set to use a HiDef format.

Slowly people can acquire new HiDef disks, replacing DVDs (if they want, since their player should be doing upscaling anyway which will help to a limited degree).

DVDs don't become obsolete overnight, but instead slowly fade away. It'll be an interesting market shift since I don't think we've seen a case where a replacement format could co-exist and slowly take over from an existing/entrenched format, until now.

Really (1)

plpl (1159995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183400)

Does it matter what kind of format Warner Bros will back up? Im still more worried about the kind of format aXXo will supply...

Recapitulation (1)

Sweep The Leg (925950) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183408)

21,770 stupid people 1,758 stupider people Countdown until years from now, consumers allege that HD DVD should have won the format wars begins....now. "What ifsters" rejoice....

Take with a grain of salt or two... (5, Informative)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183412)

The folks at NPD [tgdaily.com] have already said not to make too much of these numbers. Not only do they reflect a single week of data immediately following the Warner announcement and prior to Toshiba cutting prices in half, there were also free Blu-ray player promotions from Panasonic, Sharp and Sony. Easy to "sell" a lot of units when the price tag is $0.

Re:Take with a grain of salt or two... (4, Interesting)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183470)

Oh, it's also worth noting that all three current Toshiba players (A3, A30, A35) have been in the top ten at Amazon [amazon.com] since the price cut.

Re:Take with a grain of salt or two... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183642)

The top ten what? HD-DVD players?

Re:Take with a grain of salt or two... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183888)

The top ten what? HD-DVD players?
That would be pretty obvious to you if you clicked on the link.

The Post Christmas sales are over. (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183422)

Last time I checked the biggest feeding frenzies are right after Thanksgiving and the weeks following Christmas. Of course sales are down to a trickle, everyone has cashed in their gift cards. The local store has moved hardly any 360's, iPods, PS3's, TV, laptops, etc, etc either. Does that mean it's the death knell for all of those products too? Hardly.

Re:The Post Christmas sales are over. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183596)

Last time I checked the biggest feeding frenzies are right after Thanksgiving and the weeks following Christmas. Of course sales are down to a trickle, everyone has cashed in their gift cards.


Sure, that is part of the explanation (as well as increasing bad news on the wider economic front) for the overall downturn in HD player sales (that is, HD DVD and Blu-Ray combined.)

OTOH, it doesn't explain why that lower combined total is comprised of a greater (absolute, not merely relative) number of Blu-Ray players and a vastly lower number of HD-DVD players. Blu-Ray becoming the preferred format does explain that. (Other explanations are, of course, possible.)

The local store has moved hardly any 360's, iPods, PS3's, TV, laptops, etc, etc either. Does that mean it's the death knell for all of those products too?


If might for some of them, if, e.g., the drop-off in 360s and PS3s was accompanied by a huge increase in Wiis, or the drop-off in iPods was accompanied by a huge increase in some other alternative brand of music player. The issue here isn't that the sales of one class of product of gone down, it is that within a class, the sales of one competing alternative have dropped sharply while the other competing alternative has increased.

It's a shame, right after Christmas (1)

metamechanical (545566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183438)

Seeing as how many people just took the plunge a month ago, it's a cruel twist of fate that this should be decided now. If this came out in December, I think you would have been left with a lot more satisfied customers. My friend's parents just bought an HD-DVD player, and now those $200 or so have been completely wasted.

Re:It's a shame, right after Christmas (1)

kneemoe (1042818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183600)

Is it really a waste? I like to think I got my brother and his wife a really nice DVD player that also just happens to read some format that will never come to fruition. then again, I'm damn happy I didn't buy one for myself while I was at it

Seems low (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183466)

If only 20k/week (1 million / year) are being sold, and assuming that aside from PS3s it's been a relatively smooth ramp-up, then the format war has been decided before any of us have had a chance to weigh in at all. That's what, a fiftieth of the population pretty much decided for everybody?

Re:Seems low (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183874)

Well. Isn't that essentially the risk/reward for being an early adopter?

If more people would go ahead and weigh in (by buying players/media from one side or the other), then their opinions would be counted.

If they don't, then the only opinions that matter (to those making the decisions), are those that are actually involved.

Real Cheap at Best Buy (1)

methano (519830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183492)

I was in Best Buy this past weekend and saw that they were on sale pretty cheap. Toshiba models under $200 if I remember correctly. Nobody was biting.

Re:Real Cheap at Best Buy (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183694)

The MSRP on the three models from Toshiba are $149.99, $199.99 and $299.99. Sales at Amazon [amazon.com] seem brisk enough.

is it finally time to buy a new dvd player? (2, Interesting)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183494)

Or should I wait another year? I didn't buy one because I didn't want to deal with HD or Blu-Ray. Should I wait another year for Blu-Ray to finish fleshing out the market, or is now a good time?

I have a feeling that later would be better because lots of companies who were holding back or weren't producing Blu-Ray players will probably now... Any ideas?

Unpossible! (3, Funny)

Ungulate (146381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183502)

From Beta to MiniDisc to Memory Stick, Sony never successfully pushes a format on the market. I can only conclude that BluRay will be supplanted by an as-of-yet-unrevealed third technology. My fragile worldview cannot accept any other alternatives.

Re:Unpossible! (3, Insightful)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183638)

For the millionth time, Blu-ray isn't just a sony product. Lots of companies make and market disks and players. Sony's the best known of them, to be sure, but they are not standing alone here.

Re:Unpossible! (1)

kneemoe (1042818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183870)

along with all those 'flops' they are also the originator of the CD
now there's a format that was *never* successful...

Re:Unpossible! (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183932)

along with all those 'flops' they are also the originator of the CD

Eh? Are you sure about that?

Re:Unpossible! (1)

LionMage (318500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184016)

Actually, the Compact Disc was co-developed by Philips and Sony. Each of them gets the bragging rights to claim they "invented" the CD. The truth is each company had some key patents that were necessary to make the format fly, but neither did it solo.

Re:Unpossible! (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22184008)

Sony hasn't won a thing until they defeat DVD. They picked up 7,000 sales? whoopee. In any manufatured goods tallies that would be failure, but for some reason Sony gets a pass & is now the "winner." Winner of what? I'll bet DVD players still outsell Blu-Ray by 1000:1.

frisOt stop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22183510)

product, BSD's irrecoverable national ga7 niiger

Where to put my new HD DVD player? (2, Insightful)

hyperz69 (1226464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183628)

I know I can place it next to my BetaMax, on top of my DAC player, but under my philips CD-I.

Of course they have (3, Insightful)

hazydave (96747) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183636)

While the media and CE companies wanted this format war, the consumer didn't. Some chose sides, most of us have been waiting for a sign of who's winning. This was appearing to be Blu-Ray earlier in 2007, which is what prompted Microsoft/Toshiba to pony up the cash to keep Paramount HD-DVD only for 18 months.... thus prolonging the war, in theory.

The Warner announcement tipped the scales, and most consumers were ready for a winner to be declared. This is the kind of thing that becomes self-fulfilling -- customers want it tipped one way or another, and if they see the tip enough, everyone goes over to that side of the see-saw as fast as possible... particularly if Sony can stop shooting themselves in the foot by redesigning Blu-Ray every three months (ok, most of the new stuff is totally optional, but it doesn't help their case to create more customer confusion).

Obviously, Toshiba will try to lure back sales by slashing prices. The most interesting thing about HD-DVD is also the problem -- Toshiba can do this, because they're running HD-DVD like it's a gaming console (whether by choice or not, I don't know)... they sell all of the hardware, they get money back on licencing fees, so they can afford to blow out systems at cost, or even below cost, just as Sony and MS do with their games consoles (at least when they're new.. eventually, they want to get profitable on the HW).

DVD still works fine for me (5, Insightful)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183640)

I have a 46" 1080p Samsung LCD with a 1080p upconverting DVD player. DVDs look fantastic on this equipment. I see no value in upgrading to either high-def format - especially considering the price of the media. When I can get a brand new DVD for $15 or a gently used one for under $10 and the high-def format discs are still $25 or more, color me uninterested.

I don't think that's it's a foregone conclusion that either format is going to win out. Look at what happened to SACD and DVD-Audio.

P O R N O ! (3, Interesting)

jimboindeutchland (1125659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183766)

I don't know about you guys, but I shant be making a descision on which high definition player to purchase until the porn industry does!

Which is more shocking ... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183776)

I honestly can't decide which amazes me the most.

The fact that people are surprised that after a studio said they'd not support it, the sales fell. Or the fact that people were willing to buy the disks in the middle of a format war when they had no guarantee it would last.

I mean, really, there was uncertainty over which would win out, and what would happen to the other. I realize if you've spent several thousand dollars on your hi-def kit you want to be able to see stuff with it, but I've always thought this whole hi-def format war was something I'd wait out.

Hell, if you bought an HDTV more than a few years ago, aren't you hosed since they've changed all of the specs and the whole HDMI debacle.

With early adoption comes the prospect of a lot of pain down the road.

Cheers

"It aint over til it's over" (1)

Megatog615 (1019306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22183966)

Until HD-DVD finally bites the dust, I won't be getting into any of the new formats. I suggest others do the same.
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